Review: Royal Combier Orange Liqueur

While straight-up Combier is a clear, pure-orange liqueur, the “Royal” version adds a spin. The boozemasters at Combier start with the top-notch triple sec, then add cognac and (their words) “arguably the most famous of all French hygienic liqueurs in the 19th century, Elixir de Combier (which includes ingredients such as aloe, nutmeg, myrrh, cardamom,…

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Review: Buckbean Orange Blossom Ale, Black Noddy Lager, and Tule Duck Red Ale

Buckbean makes three brews, and they all come in cans (you can read all about why on the company’s website, linked below). We tried them all. Buckbean Original Orange Blossom Ale – Yes, orange beer. The appropriately copper-colored ale is incredibly juicy — as in orange juice, complementing solid hops with surprising fruit character. Sounds…

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Try the Purell Old Fashioned

It’s either this or Robitussin, I guess… The best way to drink hand sanitizer is straight, like whisky, and down it “like a shot,” explains Tyler, a Grade 10 student who lives in Toronto. Undiluted, the alcohol-based liquid tastes a little like “vodka and bug spray,” he adds. The alarming comment from the 15-year-old mirrors…

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Review: 2006 Louis M. Martini Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

I haven’t gone out of my way to try Louis M. Martini’s wines due to — as it turns out, completely incorrect — association with Martini & Rossi (you know: Asti Spumante). Turns out the California-based Louis M. Martini family is, as near as I can tell, wholly unrelated to the Martinis of Italy. (It…

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Review: Combier Roi René Rouge Cherry Liqueur

Reportedly a recipe that dates back to 1632, Combier (which makes an outstanding orange liqueur) is now producing this complicated cherry spirit, a pinkish-red liqueur popular, they say, in the court of Louis XIV. It’s easy to see why the royals enjoyed it: Combier Rouge is unlike your typical cherry liqueur (such as Peter Heering),…

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Review: Black Maple Hill Bourbon

Kentucky Straight Bourbon, y’all. Can you beat it? Black Maple Hill is a small batch distillery producing this simple spirit, with no age statement. The bourbon is extremely citrus in character, with big orange notes and nose leading into some wood tones. The finish is silky and sweet, but not too much so. Overall it’s…

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Review: Cuca Fresca Cachaca and Caipirinha

It’s been a while — too long, perhaps — since we sampled a new cachaca at Drinkhacker HQ, but Cuca Fresca has arrived to our watering palates. Cuca Fresca Cachaca – This unaged Brazilian rum is intensely fragrant, filling the room with sweet lime notes. The body is more typical of cachaca, with that smoky…

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Review: Master of Malt Whiskies, 2009 Releases

Master of Malt is a whisky and spirits merchant, and it’s also making its own line of spirits from privately bottled single malt scotches from all over Scotland — including at least one I’d never even heard of before. We sampled a solid five of these offerings, with results all over the proverbial map. Master…

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